Are Dachshunds Good Dogs? [dachshunds characteristics]
Often referred to as the wiener dog because of its low profile and long body resembling a hotdog shape, dachshunds are a beloved breed. The question really isn’t if dachshunds are “good” dogs, but rather if their characteristics are compatible with your family.
Dachshunds are good dogs. They are full of personality and some say a bit stubborn but make a great pet. The breed was developed for hunting so that is important to keep in mind. But overall Dachshunds are one of the most loved pets.
If you’re thinking about adding a dachshund to your family and want to know more about them, this article can help explain some of the interesting facts about Dachshunds to help you decide if they’re the perfect fit for you.
The Dachshund is a German bred canine named after the primary reason for it’s breed, which was to hunt badgers and other small predator animals.
The name Dachshund is two different German words, “dachs” and “hund.” Dachs means badger, and hund means dog, which translates to badger dog.
The German pronunciation is daks-hunt, which gives emphasis on the “uhh” sound. However, if you’re American, the pronunciation is a little different from the German pronunciation.
The American pronunciation is daak-shnd, giving no emphasis to the letter “u” in the “hund” portion of the word. Or “Docs hund”.
History of Dachshunds
According to the American Kennel Club, Dachshunds were added to the AKC stud book in 1885, but their history goes back much further than that.
Dachshunds were first bred in Germany, with breeders focusing on certain qualities to create a dog perfect for battling badgers, hence the name badger dog.
The low-profile body made the dogs perfect for digging into badger dens and tunneling underground to hunt badgers and other small predator animals such as foxes.
Their hound-like bark allowed their owners to hear and find the dogs while the dogs were tunneling underground.
The breed was then standardized based on color, size, and coat type, and soon became beloved around the world.
However, with the strong ties to Germany, and WWI creating animosity towards Germany, American’s began calling Dachshunds ”Liberty Hounds.”
Today they are formally called Dachshunds, but informally many call them wiener dogs.
Dachshunds are a small breed of hunting dog that the American Kennel Club has listed in the Hound Group.
Standard Dachshunds measure about 6 to 9 inches in height and weigh between 16 and 32 pounds.
Miniature Dachshunds are about 5 to 6 inches in height and weigh 11 pounds or less.
Dachshunds are meant to be long, lean, and muscular to help them dig and crawl through underground dens and tunnels.
Are Dachshunds Smart
Great question but how can you really tell how smart your Dachshund is? Well, a psychology professor named Stanley Coren wrote a book called, The Intelligence of Dogs and tried to determine how smart each breed was.
He made a long list and guess what? Dachshunds did not score too high on Dr. Coren’s list according to one source. They rank 49th in Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence ranking.
So what does this really mean? Not too much in my opinion. Ask any Dachshund owner and they will tell you that their Dachshund is probably the king of the house ruling with an iron fist!
If you have ever been around a Dachshund you will agree they are pretty savvy operators so they must know what they are doing!
A dog’s temperament is their attitude and behavior towards other animals and people.
While a dog’s temperament can be greatly influenced by environmental factors, there are also some genetic traits that influence their temperament as well.
Some of the qualities Dachshunds were bred for include their independent hunting tendencies, focus, sense of smell, and bravery.
They are intelligent and focused; however, they can also be stubborn, a trait necessary to their breed given the fact they were bred to hunt badgers and other predator animals.
They are also very playful, though because of their stubborn nature, they tend to only want to play by their own rules.
While Dachshunds are independent hunters, they don’t like being left alone and prefer the company of their chosen human. They are very loyal.
Dachshund owners often notice their dog following them around and not wanting to leave their side.
Are Dachshunds Aggressive?
You might be thinking that a dog bred to hunt animals like badgers and foxes might have an aggressive nature about them, which is a fair concern.
It is important to understand that aggression, just like temperament, is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
While dachshunds were bred to be aggressive towards their prey, they were not bred to be generally aggressive. Some of their traits though make them more likely to develop aggression when their environment promotes aggressive tendencies.
For example, dachshunds are fairly independent and are commonly known as “one owner dogs” because they bond with one human and tend to be closer to that one human more than anyone else.
This independence and one owner mindset can increase aggression towards animals and other people if the dachshund didn’t grow up being socialized with other animals and people.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides insight of different types of aggression and the causes.
Some of those types of aggression, that Dachshunds are more likely to experience, are based on their traits and characteristics. This includes social aggression, protective aggression, frustration elicited aggression, and predatory aggression.
Are Dachshunds Mean?
Social aggression occurs when a dog believes they are of a higher standing than some family members.
Dachshunds tend to attach to one human and they could become aggressive towards other family members simply because they believe they are equal to their chosen human.
Protective aggression is also more common if the human the Dachshund is bonded to is perceived to be in danger, this is a common form of aggression that most dogs will experience if their owner is threatened.
Frustration elicited aggression occurs when a dog is stimulated by something and is not able to engage. Because dachshunds are stubborn and focused, they may be more likely to become aggressive if they aren’t able to engage with the stimuli that has excited them.
Predatory aggression is common among dogs bred to hunt, which we know is true for dachshunds.
None of this means dachshunds are naturally aggressive. Aggression is still influenced by environmental factors.
Understanding the different types of aggression and how to prevent aggression is important regardless of what breed of dog you have.
To learn more about the different types of dog aggression and what you can do about it visit the ASPCA website.
Are Dachshunds Good With Kids?
Much like temperament and aggression, being good with kids can be greatly influenced by environment.
I’m hesitant to say dogs either are or are not inherently good with children because there are a lot of factors to consider.
Getting a puppy dachshund and raising it around children while teaching your children to be respectful towards animals will decrease the likelihood of the dog disliking children and will reduce the risk of aggression towards children.
Getting an older dachshund that has never been around children or not teaching your children to respect the animal’s space can increase the risk of aggression.
However, aggression isn’t the only thing that determines if a dog is good with children, even though it might be your biggest concern as a parent.
Dachshunds are relatively small animals and have a disproportionate body shape, with a long body and short legs.
Young children can be unaware of how their actions affect an animal. For instance, laying on a dog, or roughhousing with them can cause a dog to get hurt.
So, if you have a toddler or young child that is full of energy, you might want to consider how they will react to a small dog. Have a plan to protect both your dog and child from getting hurt.
Are Dachshunds Good With Cats?
If you have other furry family members living in your home, you might be interested in knowing if a dachshund will be a good fit.
Dachshunds are playful, energetic, and were bred to hunt, but surprisingly, they do not have a reputation for being bad with cats.
Of course, if you are adopting an older Dachshund, it is definitely worth discussing how that particular dachshund is with cats.
Temperament and aggression issues discussed in this article vary with each dog. Being “good” with cats can be influenced by environmental factors as well.
The age difference in the pets can also be a factor in whether or not the dog will do well with the cat, or vice versa.
An older cat may not react well to a puppy Dachshund that wants to play, and an older Dachshund may not do well with a kitten that wants to play.
Knowing both pets energy level and history with other animals can help you decide if they’re a good fit for your family.
Are Dachshunds Easy to Train?
Dachshunds are intelligent dogs, and they were bred to hunt. This means being able to train them was a quality that breeders looked for.
However, some Dachshund characteristics can make some tasks a little more difficult to train than others.
According to the American Kennel Club, Dachshunds are sensitive, so they do not respond well to punishment nor harsh commands.
Rather they respond well to positive reinforcement, such as praise and reward.
Dachshunds are focused dogs which can be both a pro and con when training them. If they can focus on the training, they can learn the tasks quickly.
However, if they find something more interesting, they are more likely to remain focused on the interesting stimuli as opposed to the training.
Basic commands should be relatively easy for the Dachshund to learn. Playful commands, such as fetch, may be more difficult though due to the Dachshund’s stubborn temperament and desire to play by their own rules.
House training a Dachshund may not be easy or quick, not because they are incapable, but because they can be focused on other stimuli and may not make it priority to potty outside.
Remember to use positive reinforcement, treats, and praise, to mold the behavior you want to see.
Are Dachshunds Hypoallergenic?
The short answer is no, they’re not hypoallergenic and yes, they do shed.
A dog is considered hypoallergenic when it does not shed at all or sheds very little.
Dander is released into the air when the dog’s fur is shed, which is what causes the allergy response in humans that are allergic to pet dander.
According to the American Kennel Club, Dachshunds are moderate shedders, which means they shed a fair or average amount of hair.
Dachshunds can have one of three different coats types, all of which shed. The smooth coat is a short haired coat that requires the least amount of maintenance.
The long-haired coat will require more brushing and likely more frequent bathing if your dog enjoys getting dirty.
The wire-haired coat will require brushing and trimming of the face area. Regular brushing of all three coats can help reduce the shedding and dander, and because they’re small dogs, the amount they shed will be moderate and should be easy to maintain.
Dachshund Energy Level
Dachshund’s are playful and moderately energetic dogs, and they don’t require the amount of exercise that highly energetic dogs do.
So if you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t require a high level of exercise, but also isn’t lazy, the Dachshund might be a great fit for you.
The Dachshund Club of America recommends taking your Dachshund on two modest, moderately long walks each day.
Exercise is also important for Dachshunds to keep them from becoming overweight, especially since their body is built a little differently.
If a Dachshund becomes overweight, the weight pulling down on their long spine can cause them pain and medical issues, so it’s important to give Dachshunds plenty of exercise not only to meet their energy needs, but also to keep them healthy.
Are Dachshunds Good Family Dogs?
When considering if a Dachshund is the right dog for your family, consider the things discussed above and at what stage in the dog’s life you will be bringing them into your family.
Dachshunds are a beloved dog breed and they have wonderful personalities.
You should also ask questions about the particular dog that you’re getting because Dachshunds were bred for hunting and still possess the qualities to be a hunting dog.
If you’re getting a puppy, ask the breeder about the temperament of the mother and father, since we know some of these traits are linked to genetics.
If you’re planning on adopting a Dachshund, ask the current caretaker about the dog’s temperament. Also, ask if the dog has been trained, is house potty trained, and what the history is for the dog.
Also be sure to do a “meet and greet” if you have children or other pets to see how the dog interacts with the children and/or pets.
If you decide on a Dachshund to join your family we hope you have many happy years and enjoyment with them!
Related Dachshund Questions
How Long Do Dachshunds Live?
Dachshunds usually live from 12 to 16 years with some making it to 18 or even 20 years old!
Ahh, the oldest Dachshund question. Good one!
Rocky the Dachshund may have been the longest living Dachshund enjoying life for 25 years according to his prod owner, Robert Rowland.
Another good one! What the heck is a rabbit Dachshund? You may have heard of a ‘miniature Dachshund’. Miniature Dachshunds are Dachshunds that weigh under 11 pounds.
Well, a ‘Rabbit Dachshund’ is said to be under seven to eight pounds so even smaller than the miniature! Wow!
Just so you know, the rabbit Dachshund is not recognized by many Dachshund experts as a breed. Cool name though!
Are Dachshunds Hard to Housebreak?
This is the best question about Dachshunds and an important one! Hate to say it but Doxies may not be as easy to housebreak (or potty train) as some other dog breeds are.
Not a make or break but something to keep in mind. You just need a little patience and love!